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Charleston County man shoots brother's dog 8 times, deputies say

Ryan William Murphy (Charleston County Detention Center)

A Charleston County man has been charged with ill treatment of animals after deputies say he repeatedly shot and subsequently killed his own brother's dog.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says Ryan William Murphy, 22, claimed he shot his brother's 1-year-old Labrador retriever, Rocky, because he caught Rocky having intercourse with his own dog.

The dog did not attack Murphy, and was legally allowed to be on the property, where both Murphy and his brother live, deputies say.

When deputies arrived at the brothers' shared home in McClellanville the day of the incident, June 8, deputies say they found the dog, Rocky, buried in a shallow grave. The dog had been shot 8 times with a 9mm handgun, deputies say.

Investigators say Murphy told them he shot Rocky because he was angry about the dogs having intercourse. Murphy claimed a vet told him his own dog, Lady, would die if she became pregnant because of hip issues caused by a 2015 accident, according to the sheriff's office.

But deputies say their investigation found Murphy's vet hadn't actually said the dog would die if pregnant; rather, that there may be "complications, not death," and Murphy spaying the dog was recommended.

Further, investigators say witnesses told them Murphy had openly talked about wanting to kill his brother's dog in the past, including the day before the incident.

Murphy is in jail at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, charged with ill treatment of animals causing torment and unnecessary pain.

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